The New Zealander will head up SoftBank Team Japan in the America's Cup after being appointed as skipper and CEO

America’s Cup sailor Dean Barker has been named as the skipper and CEO of the Japanese challenger SoftBank Team Japan.

Barker, who previously skippered Emirates Team New Zealand, has more than 15 years experience in the America’s Cup.

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Speaking from Bermuda where he and team general manager Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku have been meeting with America’s Cup officials, Barker said: “This is an incredible opportunity to build a new team from the ground up.

“It’s an honour to take on the responsibility of both CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan.

“We’re filling the key roles on the team as quickly as we can. I think we’re pulling together a very strong team. We want to compete at the head of the fleet and we’re assembling a team that is capable of doing that. Our goal is to win the America’s Cup.”

Barker’s appointment comes only a few weeks after SoftBank Team Japan were confirmed as a challenger, with the team having a big job list ahead as it prepares to race in the first America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth in July.

“In the short term, our job is to be ready to compete in Portsmouth,” said Fuku.

“Then, our focus will shift to trialling more Japanese sailors as we continue to build and develop our team.”